Friday, 27 May 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Speakout

Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Thousands of trade unionists and seventy-five local and national unions participated in the Peoples Climate March in New York in September — a quantum leap from any previous labor participation in climate action. Climate protection has become a critical concern for many in organized labor. Conversely, cooperation with organized labor has become a critical need for the climate protection movement. Yet organized labor can be difficult and confusing for climate protection advocates — and even for union members themselves — to navigate.

Having looked in the last two posts at access and affordable costs of care five years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we now examine its impact on quality of care, the third leg of the stool that defines the structure and performance of a health care system.

The ACA took several initiatives to improve quality of care, most importantly by expanding access to care through subsidizing insurance through the exchanges and expanding Medicaid in those states that participated. Other initiatives include providing preventive services without cost-sharing, pay-for-performance (P4P) changes, accountable care organizations, expanded use of electronic health records, and establishing the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Let's look at what each has accomplished.

With the 51 day Israeli attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014 that killed over 2,200, wounded 11,000, destroyed 20,000 homes and displaced 500,000, the closing to humanitarian organizations of the border with Gaza by the Egyptian government, continuing Israeli attacks on fishermen and others, and the lack of international aid through UNWRA for the rebuilding of Gaza, the international Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to again challenge Israel's naval blockade of Gaza in an effort to gain publicity for the critical necessity of ending the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the isolation of the people of Gaza.

UNRWA, the main U.N. aid agency in the Gaza Strip has stated that a lack of international funding forced it to suspend grants to tens of thousands of Palestinians for repairs to homes damaged in last summer's war.

March 12, 1930, Ahmedabad, India. Mahatma Gandhi and a company of nonviolent satyagrahi set out from the Sabarmati ashram and began his march to Dandi where, twenty-four days later, he would take hold in his hands salt made from the ocean water and declare, "Here I ruin the British empire."

It was an audacious faith in the power of nonviolence that carried Gandhi on that walk, and that powered him for another seventeen years before the miracle was realized and India was freed from British colonial rule.

Dangerous worldwide environmental disasters put millions of people at risk every year. Events that can range from floods to tornadoes are known to devastate entire cities and landscapes, and often leave people to fend for themselves for days, or even weeks or longer. In particularly high-risk zones, many people have to cope with loss on a regular basis, and it can be even more difficult to establish long-term solutions for displacements that occur after natural disasters.

To learn more about the displacements due to natural disasters and possible solutions to the issue, checkout this infographic created by Eastern Kentucky University’s Online Master of Science Degree in Safety, Security & Emergency Management degree program.

Mar 16

Questioning the Second Amendment

By Kenneth Roberts, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

I have a few questions for those who, including some members of the Supreme Court, honestly believe that the Second Amendment was written (10 years after the end of the Revolutionary War) to give the people the right to own and carry guns in our neighborhoods, at public events, and in public places. 

  1. Why, if the writers wanted to mean "own," do they use the word "keep" in the amendment?

New York City - Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today joined New York and New Jersey families who would benefit from the new bipartisan bill to allow patients in states that have legalized medical marijuana to access the treatment without fear of federal prosecution. The Senators also announced the support of the Epilepsy Foundation, which has endorsed the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act that Booker and Gillibrand, along with Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced last week. The CARERS Act respects states' ability that set their own medical marijuana programs and prevents federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors and caregivers in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Both New York and New Jersey have legalized use of medical marijuana.

Mar 16

We Need More President Borens

By Michelle Buggs, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Empathy. Understanding. Decisiveness. These are a few of the terms evoked by the leadership of University of Oklahoma President David Boren in his swift action to reject and correct the racist behaviors put on display by that campus' now-former chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

At a time when it is so much easier to stand in the shadows, making excuses for racism or acting as if it isn't as acute as it really is in the United States, as polls show, Boren is appreciated not only for aiming directly at the perpetrators of a racist chant, but also those across the country who are misusing our right of free speech to cause even more damage in an already unstable racial climate.

Mar 13

Trauma Center Now: Why We Shut Down Michigan Avenue

By Veronica Morris Moore and Victoria Crider, Transformative Spaces | Op-Ed

As I  try to compile a list of reasons why I was a part of the civil disobedience direct action that blocked northbound traffic on the Magnificent Mile on the night of Thursday, March 5, all I can immediately think of is "why not?" But for the purpose of this statement I'll try to stick to reasons that are unique and relative to my role in the Trauma Center Campaign.

The main reason I volunteered my body for the human chain that blocked northbound traffic on Michigan Avenue is because I am committed to pressuring the University of Chicago to reopen its level 1 trauma center at the UChicago's medical facility. Since Fearless Leading by the Youth began the fight to restore this vital service in our community, all our efforts have been met with is traditional racist excuses. UofC spokespeople say, "the service will be a significant burden that will undercut other services already provided to the community." For me, a black queer youth (under 25), this is unacceptable.

Mar 13

Pacifica Stands in for All Public Media

By Ernesto Aguilar, Truthout | News Analysis

Pacifica, the embattled progressive radio network, has been the recipient of bad press and suggestions that it should simply be allowed to go into bankruptcy. This first-ever internal look by a high-level insider puts Pacifica's troubles in the context of public media facing challenges from digital, funding cuts and declining revenue. Pacifica leaders contend the network is still important and must be supported.

The in-house bouts of Pacifica Radio spilled into the proverbial street recently, when the California Attorney General was asked to audit the oldest non-commercial independent radio network in the US. Truthout is one of many outlets that has featured Pacifica's arguments, recriminations and sordid dramas. One can't help but read with interest.

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Speakout

Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Thousands of trade unionists and seventy-five local and national unions participated in the Peoples Climate March in New York in September — a quantum leap from any previous labor participation in climate action. Climate protection has become a critical concern for many in organized labor. Conversely, cooperation with organized labor has become a critical need for the climate protection movement. Yet organized labor can be difficult and confusing for climate protection advocates — and even for union members themselves — to navigate.

Having looked in the last two posts at access and affordable costs of care five years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we now examine its impact on quality of care, the third leg of the stool that defines the structure and performance of a health care system.

The ACA took several initiatives to improve quality of care, most importantly by expanding access to care through subsidizing insurance through the exchanges and expanding Medicaid in those states that participated. Other initiatives include providing preventive services without cost-sharing, pay-for-performance (P4P) changes, accountable care organizations, expanded use of electronic health records, and establishing the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Let's look at what each has accomplished.

With the 51 day Israeli attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014 that killed over 2,200, wounded 11,000, destroyed 20,000 homes and displaced 500,000, the closing to humanitarian organizations of the border with Gaza by the Egyptian government, continuing Israeli attacks on fishermen and others, and the lack of international aid through UNWRA for the rebuilding of Gaza, the international Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to again challenge Israel's naval blockade of Gaza in an effort to gain publicity for the critical necessity of ending the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the isolation of the people of Gaza.

UNRWA, the main U.N. aid agency in the Gaza Strip has stated that a lack of international funding forced it to suspend grants to tens of thousands of Palestinians for repairs to homes damaged in last summer's war.

March 12, 1930, Ahmedabad, India. Mahatma Gandhi and a company of nonviolent satyagrahi set out from the Sabarmati ashram and began his march to Dandi where, twenty-four days later, he would take hold in his hands salt made from the ocean water and declare, "Here I ruin the British empire."

It was an audacious faith in the power of nonviolence that carried Gandhi on that walk, and that powered him for another seventeen years before the miracle was realized and India was freed from British colonial rule.

Dangerous worldwide environmental disasters put millions of people at risk every year. Events that can range from floods to tornadoes are known to devastate entire cities and landscapes, and often leave people to fend for themselves for days, or even weeks or longer. In particularly high-risk zones, many people have to cope with loss on a regular basis, and it can be even more difficult to establish long-term solutions for displacements that occur after natural disasters.

To learn more about the displacements due to natural disasters and possible solutions to the issue, checkout this infographic created by Eastern Kentucky University’s Online Master of Science Degree in Safety, Security & Emergency Management degree program.

Mar 16

Questioning the Second Amendment

By Kenneth Roberts, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

I have a few questions for those who, including some members of the Supreme Court, honestly believe that the Second Amendment was written (10 years after the end of the Revolutionary War) to give the people the right to own and carry guns in our neighborhoods, at public events, and in public places. 

  1. Why, if the writers wanted to mean "own," do they use the word "keep" in the amendment?

New York City - Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today joined New York and New Jersey families who would benefit from the new bipartisan bill to allow patients in states that have legalized medical marijuana to access the treatment without fear of federal prosecution. The Senators also announced the support of the Epilepsy Foundation, which has endorsed the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act that Booker and Gillibrand, along with Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced last week. The CARERS Act respects states' ability that set their own medical marijuana programs and prevents federal law enforcement from prosecuting patients, doctors and caregivers in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Both New York and New Jersey have legalized use of medical marijuana.

Mar 16

We Need More President Borens

By Michelle Buggs, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Empathy. Understanding. Decisiveness. These are a few of the terms evoked by the leadership of University of Oklahoma President David Boren in his swift action to reject and correct the racist behaviors put on display by that campus' now-former chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

At a time when it is so much easier to stand in the shadows, making excuses for racism or acting as if it isn't as acute as it really is in the United States, as polls show, Boren is appreciated not only for aiming directly at the perpetrators of a racist chant, but also those across the country who are misusing our right of free speech to cause even more damage in an already unstable racial climate.

Mar 13

Trauma Center Now: Why We Shut Down Michigan Avenue

By Veronica Morris Moore and Victoria Crider, Transformative Spaces | Op-Ed

As I  try to compile a list of reasons why I was a part of the civil disobedience direct action that blocked northbound traffic on the Magnificent Mile on the night of Thursday, March 5, all I can immediately think of is "why not?" But for the purpose of this statement I'll try to stick to reasons that are unique and relative to my role in the Trauma Center Campaign.

The main reason I volunteered my body for the human chain that blocked northbound traffic on Michigan Avenue is because I am committed to pressuring the University of Chicago to reopen its level 1 trauma center at the UChicago's medical facility. Since Fearless Leading by the Youth began the fight to restore this vital service in our community, all our efforts have been met with is traditional racist excuses. UofC spokespeople say, "the service will be a significant burden that will undercut other services already provided to the community." For me, a black queer youth (under 25), this is unacceptable.

Mar 13

Pacifica Stands in for All Public Media

By Ernesto Aguilar, Truthout | News Analysis

Pacifica, the embattled progressive radio network, has been the recipient of bad press and suggestions that it should simply be allowed to go into bankruptcy. This first-ever internal look by a high-level insider puts Pacifica's troubles in the context of public media facing challenges from digital, funding cuts and declining revenue. Pacifica leaders contend the network is still important and must be supported.

The in-house bouts of Pacifica Radio spilled into the proverbial street recently, when the California Attorney General was asked to audit the oldest non-commercial independent radio network in the US. Truthout is one of many outlets that has featured Pacifica's arguments, recriminations and sordid dramas. One can't help but read with interest.